musicforwolves (musicforwolves) wrote in gaymers,

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I start writing an essay about the X-men, and end up with... this.

     I figured this might be an appropriate place to post this, although there's not too many posts about RPGs...

     As I walked home tonight, it struck me how absorbed I've immediately become in the DresdenVerse. It's not even through a knowledge of the source, but rather through a love of film noir and an all-consuming excitement about the Dresden Files RPG. The walk down the hill was cold, bitterly cold, and as I walked past the cemetery on the university campus I looked at it and wondered at the evocativeness of it. I wanted to walk through it and hope to bump into a werewolf, or take the even colder route along by the harbour and see if there were any trolls out (because that's where they'd hang out here).

     I got to thinking about my character for the DFRPG, and I came to a conclusion (sorry to anybody on my flist whose ears I've already talked off about this). Well, not really a conclusion: more a conclusion that I don't know the answer to something. 

     To backtrack a little: since I've started roleplaying eight months ago, I've become involved in two campaigns. One is White Wolf's 'Adventure!', a 1920s-based world with comic-book environments and comic-book powers (I make a point of this for a reason). The other is the DFRPG, which isn't strictly comic-book, but features some elements from them. In 'Adventure', my character is an ex-circus-strongman turned assassin. In the latter campaign, I'm a fanboy/lizard, with fire powers to boot, and I deal with those like they're superpowers. Both characters, in my mind, are queer: the strongman because he's too socially inept to have a relationship with anyone, the fanboy because the only person who he's going to show his changes to is another supernatural, who just happens to be another fanboy.

     Depending on who you ask, comics have a checkered history of dealing with queer characters. I'm not one to side with either camp, the ones who are full of praise or the ones who damn every instance of a maimed gay superhero. I will say that there aren't any mainstream gay superheroes in film, or high-profile gay characters in sci-fi film (that I know of, although the fact that the university sci-fi course has to focus on camp value only is telling). There are valid points on both sides.

     All of this leads to my major question: are my queer characters typecasting? By which I mean, am I stereotyping myself into gay RPG characters? In a perfect world, I would get the opportunity to include a gay relationship in an RPG: not as a major plot point, but also not as something that deserves punishment, just an everyday background relationship. I want to be clear, I'm not suggesting the GMs and other players can't handle that. By no means am I discriminated against. In the 1920s, though, this doesn't go down to well, and there's no chance for development in a three-session campaign. There's also no denying that I will get a chance to do this later on. I'm just not sure why I feel the need to insert this element into every character I play. Am I trying to subconsciously right the history of superheroes, one queer creature at a time?

     I'd be interested to know whether this sort of typecasting struggle goes on in anyone elses' minds. Do you feel you play people like yourself better or more frequently? Is it just more noticeable when you're a guy playing guys who like guys, as opposed to being a hetero- character? Would you notice if someone played similar characters regularly? Is there anything even wrong with that?
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